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Why Representing Yourself In A Criminal Charge Is A Bad Idea

It is often said that a person who defends themself has a fool for a client. In our experience, this statement is absolutely true. An experienced lawyer knows the law, the prosecutors and the courts, and has the skills necessary to represent you. They know how to give good advice based on the facts and the circumstances of the case. At the same time (if they are not related to you), they will have no emotional attachments to your case, making it easy for them to think clearly regarding your defense.

On the other hand, as a civilian with limited knowledge of criminal law and emotional attachment to your case, you could represent yourself inadequately in court, forcing you to face severe repercussions. As a result, you should not represent yourself in court, especially on a criminal charge.

However, given the fact that you need to pay legal fees, court fees, and attorney fees, it can be tempting to handle your case by yourself. But the DIY or do-it-yourself approach is a risky decision as your freedom, status, and finances hang in the balance. To show you just how bad your case could get when you DIY, Bhardwaj Law has explained two primary reasons why representing yourself in a criminal charge is a bad idea.

1. Wrongful convictions Representing yourself can result in wrongful convictions, pleading guilty to more significant charges than necessary, and more prolonged or restrictive sentences. This can result in loss of jobs, loss of driving privileges, loss of freedom, and damage to your family life.

2. Irreversible problems Once the bell is rung, it cannot be unrung, especially when it comes to matters in the court. By representing yourself in a criminal charge, you may mistakenly make admissions that are against your interest. You may also make decisions grounded in emotion that are not legally sound. For this reason, only a dispassionate, experienced lawyer should represent you when charged with a crime.

Do things right - Hire a professional In our professional opinion, no one should represent themselves in criminal court, not even the most experienced lawyer. This is mainly due to their personal and emotional ties with the case. Similarly, if you aren’t a legal professional, you’re limited knowledge in criminal law and how to argue in court, could put you in trouble.

Criminal lawyers go to Law School (a post-graduate degree) to learn about this specific area of the law and how to handle cases in the court. They must then pass the Bar Examination in the province where they plan to practice. In Ontario, a lawyer must be a member in good standing of the Law Society of Ontario, as this is a highly recognized body within the legal community in the province. Moreover, professional lawyers can give you the criminal defense that you need. Having them represent will also reduce your stress and anxiety. 

To choose the best criminal lawyer to represent your case, you need to hire a professional who is experienced in criminal trial work in the city where you are facing charges. That way, they will know how the local prosecutors and courts function.

In case you’re worried about spending too much money on a criminal lawyer, remember that it is a small price to pay compared to the hefty fines and sentences you will face if you represent yourself ineffectively. The financial consequences of self-representation can be significant. Not to mention, poor outcomes can lead to a severe toll on your emotions.

For more information about criminal charge representation, reach out to Bhardwaj Law. We

provide you with a trusted criminal lawyer in the Greater Toronto Area, as we’ve been serving this community for over twenty years. We work hard on your behalf to help you effectively navigate the legal system, and do our best to protect your rights and get you the outcomes you deserve. That means, whether you are an innocent person who is wrongly accused, a person who needs a legal defense to the crime charged, or someone who made a mistake, we provide you with a competent criminal lawyer to defend you.



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